Today I paid a visit to one of my favorite NYPL branches, the Fort Washington Library.
One of 39 original Carnegie branches, it has served patrons including Lou Gehrig, Maria Callas, Ralph Ellison, Marianne Moore, and Jacob Javits. No pressure!
This was my branch library when I lived in the Heights. It was renovated while I lived there and now has one of the loveliest children's rooms in NYC. It's always in use.
(OK, there are no kids in the last pic. I waited for them to exit because...permissions.)
A flock of bitties from toddlers to middle schoolers showed up for BABY PENGUINS EVERYWHERE! It's always interesting to read to a wide age range. One kid is eating your crayon while another wants to talk about the themes of your book, or your drawing technique.
Library manager Jennifer Zarr gave a lovely introduction; after we read the book, I shared some original artwork and sketches. The kids liked feeling the weight of the watercolor paper. I told them my paintings were sent to China to be copied and bound into a book, which was shipped back to the US on a boat, then carried by truck to bookstores and libraries. It seemed just as bonkers to them as it does to me.
Next we we all drew and colored penguins (except for one kid who was set on drawing Power Rangers, but that's cool.)
They were good collaborators.
I was touched by how many kids made pictures for their siblings.
It was such a pleasure to do an author activity at a library where I used to take my own newborn daughter. Thank you so much, Fort Washington, for having me!